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County’s public transit plan moving forward with $500,000 grant

Representatives from the County of Prince Edward, the County Foundation, the Vital Signs Getting Around working group, and local transit service providers celebrated the official release of the new public transit plan. The municipality recently received $500,000 in provincial grant funding to support the plan’s implementation over the next five years.

The County has received $500,000 in provincial grant funding over the next five years to get moving on a new public transit plan and business case.

The public transit plan is expected to roll out over the next five years in partnership with existing transportation providers including County taxi cab companies as well as Deseronto Transit and Quinte Access buses.

“The need to expand transit service to all residents of the County is a priority for the municipality,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “We are pleased and grateful to receive support through the Community Transportation Grant Program – Municipal Stream Funding to implement the plan and better meet the mobility needs of residents, employees, and visitors.”

At Tuesday’s media event at the Crystal Palace, the Women’s Institute (WI) of Prince Edward County was also recognized for its pioneering efforts to establish the County’s first public transit service – a specialized transit service offered through Quinte Access.

“Without the efforts of the WI to bring specialized transit to the County, and continue to support that service through annual donations, the current transit plan and business case would have looked very different,” said Neil Carbone, Director of Community Development and Strategic Initiatives. “Because of the WI’s efforts, we were in a position to build upon the existing services offered by Quinte Access, and this means a higher degree of cost recovery than most rural transit services.”

County council approved the Public Transit Plan and Business Case earlier this month as a guide for future development of public transit.

The municipality and the County Foundation, with support from the Vital Signs Getting Around working group, and local transit service providers developed a five-year plan, which includes several guiding principles:
• Provide mobility options to all residents of the County, including options to make local trips within the County;
• Improve connections to seasonal employment opportunities in the County to bolster the growing tourism industry;
• Make use of existing transportation resources and seek partnerships with key stakeholders to improve the service;
• Provide a sustainable and cost-effective service in line with other rural communities in the County’s peer group; and,
• Build on the service incrementally, monitoring response in demand before growing further.

The Community Transportation Grant – Municipal Stream Funding offered by the Ministry of Transportation supports municipalities seeking to develop new transportation service or improve existing service to Ontario communities that are not served or are underserved by regular transit and intercommunity bus service.

The program emphasizes partnerships, coordination, and a collaborative approach to service delivery. For more information and to read the Public Transit Plan and Business Case, visit the County website (www.thecounty.ca/county-government/municipal-projects/public-transit-plan).

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